Broken Wand

Memorial LISTINGS For Deceased MemberS of The I.B.M.


27 Mar

Brodien, Thompson in April Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK



Marshall E. Brodien, 84, of Batavia, Illinois, died March 8, 2019, after a fifteen year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His I.B.M. member number was 37753. He had been a member since 1982 (thirty-seven years). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). Born in Chicago, he began his interest in magic at age eight when a magician performed at his school. He put on magic shows for his family and friends. He was in the U.S. Army for two years, assigned to Special Services where he entertained the troops. After the service he continued to perform at lounges, clubs, county fairs, and trade shows. He was best known in the Greater Chicago area for twenty-six years as Wizzo the magician on the Bozo Show on WGN-TV. Beyond Chicago, he was known for his television commercials for TV Magic Cards and Marshall Brodien Magic Sets. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004, and his wife took care of him at home for ten years. Then he moved to Arden Courts of Geneva for another five years. Survivors include his wife, Mary; children Anita (Michael) Brazeau, Marshall (Lisa), and John (Dimitra); step-children Lisa Kluge, Erin (Steven) Lukasiewicz, and Joseph Cannella; nine grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sister-in-law Pauline Brodien. Memorial donations are requested to Arden Courts of Geneva, 2388 Bricher Road, Geneva, IL 60134; Heartland Hospice, 1010 Executive Drive, Suite 200, Westmont, IL 60559; or the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 Michigan Ace., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601. (An In Memoriam will be published in the May issue. If you have a Marshall Brodien story you would like to share, please send it to Dennis Schick,, by April 15.)



Ronald John Charpio, Sr., 80, of Jefferson, Louisiana, died January 12, 2019. His I.B.M. member number was 39516, and he had been a member since 1984. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 27 (New Orleans, Louisiana), Ring 214 (Lafayette, Louisiana), Crescent Magicians Guild of New Orleans, and the Society of American Magicians. He retired as a Sergeant Major after forty years of service in the U.S. Army. Later he retired from Tulane University, where he was a locksmith. He was a long-time member of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Carrollton, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the Knights of Columbus. Survivors include his wife of sixty years, Delores; three children: Peggy Bradley, Ronald Jr. (Dana), and Robbie; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and brother Donald (Pat). A Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted in his honor.



Stephen J. Duschek, 74, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, died March 1, 2019. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1976-1991, fifteen years). He was a member of Ring 30 (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania). He retired in 1999 after working over thirty-five years as a field engineer for National Cash Register. His passion was magic, and he invented many magic effects (including Wunderbar, Waltzing Matilda, and Lethal Tender), and wrote five books. The books were each titled with his name: Dusheck’s Thumb Tip Magic, Coin, Card, Mental and Close-up. In 2007 he won the Creative Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts. Survivors include his wife, Marsha; and his daughter, Renee (Christopher) Yura. Memorial contributions are requested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.



Herbert (Herb) Cecil Easley, Jr., 85, of Phoenix, Arizona, died February 21, 2019. His I.B.M. membership number was 51048 and he had been a member since 1994. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member), and Ring 55 (Phoenix, Arizona). Born in Taft, California, he grew up in Los Angeles and San Francisco before moving to Phoenix in 1947. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served four years, after which he worked at a television station, and then worked full time with his father at Easley’s Fun Shop. He loved learning magic tricks and became a talented ventriloquist. He was active in several organizations, including the National Costumers Association. He was NCA president, 1997-99, and attended its conventions throughout the country. In addition to magic, hobbies included World War II history, architecture, aviation, trivia, and crossword puzzles. Survivors include his wife, Carol; daughters Debbie and Dr. Leslie (Joe) Dominguez; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Honorary contributions are suggested to a charity of your choice.






Recently the I.B.M. headquarters learned that Charles William (Bill) Pryor, 84, of Edgewood, Kentucky, died December 29, 2018. He held I.B.M. member number 14642 since 1954 (sixty-four years). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 71 (Cincinnati, Ohio), and the Society of American Magicians. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, he moved to Cincinnati after graduating from West Liberty College in 1955. He worked as a math teacher before serving in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Army Language School in Monterey, California, then served in South Korea for thirteen months. He was active in sports throughout his life, including serving as a high school basketball referee. His love of magic began as a boy when he was invited on stage by Harry Blackstone, Sr. He became an accomplished performer, inventor and mentor for more than three decades. He owned and ran his own magic shop, Prof. Pryor’s Magic Emporium, teaching and demonstrating magic to thousands of people.  He used the slogan: “Purveyor of Amazing Illusions and Baffling Conundrums.” He was featured on the cover of the November 2007 issue of The Linking Ring. Survivors include his children: Dennis (Jennifer), Gary (Cathy), Gregory, and Anne (Douglas) Campbell; step-children Scott (Maribeth) Carskadon, Michele (Randall) Wright, and Holly (Mark) Preischel; sister, Mary Morris; fourteen grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Matthew 25 Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242.



John (Johnny) Max Thompson, 84, of Las Vegas, Nevada, died March 9, 2019. He was one of the most beloved magicians of all time, and his death was both a huge shock as well as a major loss to the World of Magic. An In Memoriam in this issue includes some of the personal thoughts by other magicians. He died doing what he loved to do. He collapsed during a rehearsal of “Fool Us,” and was taken to the hospital where he died several days later of respiratory failure. Johnny was a multi-talented man for all seasons, who excelled as a magician, mentor, historian, teacher, consultant, and friend. His knowledge of magic and performing was such that he was in constant demand to “fix” magic acts or shows. He was an advisor for celebrity magicians, including Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Mat Franco, and Criss Angel. He was a behind-the-scenes consultant for “Penn & Teller’s Fool Us,” and “The Carbonaro Effect.” Penn & Teller recently recreated Johnny and Pam Thompson’s hilarious “The Great Tomsoni” act as a tribute to them. Born in Chicago, Thompson wanted to be a riverboat gambler and developed the necessary playing card skills. But magic caught his attention and he applied his skills there the rest of his life. Not generally known were his talents as a harmonica player, or his carnival stints as a fire-eater and a sword swallower. But it was his magic which gained him world-wide fame and fortune. He introduced The Great Tomsoni in 1969. But it took off when he met Pamela Hayes and they married in 1973. She joined his act and they became The Great Tomsoni and Company. They performed in every conceivable venue — including cruise ships — throughout the world. Among his many awards and honors was the prestigious Masters Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts. In 2018 he and Jami Ian Swiss wrote “The Magic of Johnny Thompson,” a two-volume, 663-page slipcased work with seventy-eight routines and 1100 photographs. It is Johnny Thompson’s life’s work. Survivors include his wife, Pamela; and a step-son, Kevin Hayunga.



Lawrence (Larry) J. Thompson, 76, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, died February 5, 2019. His I.B.M. member number was 18794, and he had been a member since 1962 (fifty-seven years). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excalibur (fifty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 54 (Lansing, Michigan), and Ring 22 (Detroit, Michigan). He was a natural performer, so he went into teaching and school administration, as well as magic and television. He played the magician, Mr. Whoodinini, a sidekick of Bozo the Clown on Bozo’s Big Top, which played for many years in the Detroit area. Every morning he would go to the television station, do the show, and then go to school to teach his classes. Sometimes he didn’t have time to take off his make-up, providing a thrill for the students. In addition to magic, his hobbies included flying airplanes, woodworking, and boating. He was the founder in 1979 of Mobile Ed Productions. Survivors include his wife, Denise; children Ken, Chris (Megan), Ryan, and Andy; granddaughter, Emily; and brother Wes. Honorary contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.







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